CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Cosworth XF Engine Unveiled at Fontana

FONTANA, Calif., Oct. 29, 1999 -- Ford and Cosworth made an investment in securing the 2000 CART Championship today with the unveiling of Ford's next-generation Champ Car engine, the Ford-Cosworth XF. Ford and Cosworth engineers,...

FONTANA, Calif., Oct. 29, 1999 -- Ford and Cosworth made an investment in securing the 2000 CART Championship today with the unveiling of Ford's next-generation Champ Car engine, the Ford-Cosworth XF. Ford and Cosworth engineers, utilizing the latest in computer-aided design technology, and new, ground-breaking technologies developed in conjunction with Ford-Cosworth's Formula One program, designed an engine that the company believes can bring CART's drivers' and manufacturers' championships back to Ford for the first time since 1995. "Although the current engine, the XD, is still at the top of its game, we have made too many technological advancements over the previous four years to incorporate in the existing engine architecture," said Bruce Wood, CART Program Director for Cosworth Racing. "The XF is the finest CART engine we have ever produced and is something that all of us at Cosworth are very proud of." <P>

The new XF is two inches shorter and 18 percent lighter than the XD, and revs at a range approaching 16,000 rpm. One area, which the engineering team is most proud of, are the advancements made in the area of packaging and weight reduction. Advancements in the patented Cosworth casting process have allowed engineers to make lighter castings with thinner walls, giving way to more compact castings. "The decrease in size and weight is very significant," said Wood. "It gives our teams more flexibility and allows our chassis makers and teams to better optimize their set-ups." Helping pave the way to the reduced weight of the XF was the Ford-Cosworth Formula One program. The Formula One and CART programs have enjoyed an increased level of cooperation, ushered in by the acquisition of Cosworth Racing, Inc. by Ford last year. "It's perfectly genuine to say that there is a substantial amount of shared technology between the Formula One program and the CART program," said Wood. "There is much more in common with the Formula One engine and the CART engine than there has ever been." With Champ Car racing being among the most competitive forms of auto racing in the world, every opportunity to gain the upper hand on the competition needs to be exploited. "Typically, Formula One program budgets are larger than those of their CART counterparts, which allows them to push the technology and development envelope a bit further," said Wood. "The casting technology is something that the Formula One design team pushed for and managed to get resolved. They have some very trick internal designs that we have picked up on, so I would have to say that the ties are closer between the two programs than they have ever been." Design integration is also a theme employed by XF engineers. Additional weight savings come through advancements in the oil scavenge system and the extensive use of carbon fiber on the XF. These advancements have also allowed for the engine's center of gravity to be lowered three-quarters of an inch, which helps improve the car's overall vehicle dynamics further. The engine itself is not just lighter and smaller, but the design for ancillary components such as the cooling system have also been minimized. Past engines have employed dual water radiator and oil cooler systems. The XF system, however, employs a single radiator and oil cooler system allowing for substantial weight savings to chassis plumbing and decreased engine change time. The XF also benefits from the integration of many ancillary engine systems paying particular attention to areas of the engine which affect performance and reliability. The engineering team looked for ways to take every part which had the potential to affect engine performance and make it bullet-proof. First to track is another area that the XF is benefiting from. Of the engine manufacturers involved in CART, the Ford-Cosworth team was the first to track test its 2000 engine. <P>

Compared to the Ford Cosworth XD, which was first track tested on Nov. 22, 1995, just four months before the 1996 season-opening race in Homestead, Fla., the XF has benefited from an accelerated design and testing schedule. The XF, having already undergone an extensive battery of dyno tests, turned its first lap on Aug. 2, 1999, at Gateway International Raceway, giving it a three-month head start in development when compared to its predecessor, the XD. Christian Fittipaldi and Roberto Moreno, who both tested the engine with Newman-Haas Racing, praised the engine's performance, citing improvements in driveability, decreased vibration, and exceptional throttle response. "I can't wait to run this engine. Hands down, this is the best engine Cosworth has ever designed. They have made tremendous gains in the area of driveability, an area that we struggled with a bit this year," said Fittipaldi. After more than 40 years of making racing history, Ford purchased the Cosworth Racing engine division of Cosworth Engineering from Audi AG on July 13, 1998. Ford formed an association with Cosworth in 1967 to produce the legendary Ford DFV engine which won its first race in the hands of Jim Clark. Ford and Cosworth went on to power 13 Formula One World Champions, secure 10 Formula One Manufacturers Championship titles, and achieve 175 Formula One victories and 12 Indianapolis 500 wins. In CART, Ford and Cosworth have tallied an unmatched 305 combined Champ Car victories.

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